LadyBird is a tool for cataloging non-MARC records for digitized materials for display in a digital library interface on the web. The project was created in 2009 to try and solve the problem of many departments using their own tools and metadata schemas. By bringing this type of cataloging into a common interface with shared vocabularies and workflows, it has improved the record quality in the Digital Library interfaces. The application supports several types of bulk processing of digital files and metadata records, offers record import from Orbis and the Finding Aids Database, version control and ability to create new records from scratch. One of the most powerful features of LadyBird resides in the publishing mechanism which allows the digital content to be published to specified targets using a combination of OAI-PMH and custom written applications. LadyBird is one of the primary systems used to submit materials into Hydra, our new preservation/presentation framework launched in the Fall of 2013.

Right now the application is written in C#/.Net with a SQL Server database storing all the data. While this provides a proven platform for LadyBird to exist in its current production/beta, we plan to migrate to a Java platform with a more modern data architecture. The goal is to release LadyBird as an open source solution that can be used on its own or with Hydra.

Library IT staff working on the project

Primary contact: Mike Friscia

Collaborating staff: Osman Din, Lakeisha Robinson

Partners / collaborating departments

Visual Resources Department

Beinecke Library Technical Services

Columbia University Library


LadyBird Steering Committee


Started in May 2009, went into production for the Beinecke Library in April 2010, other collections have begun migration since June 2010. Application has been a work in progress for a long time as new features are rolled out regularly. We are currently at version 0.8 and expect to reach our final version 1.0 in December 2013.